A Simple Way to Recharge Your Workout Motivation

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In the past, I've blogged about how new workout clothes motivate me to exercise. I've also shared tips to buy high-quality workout apparel on a budget, which is fitting because I am very tight with my money, yet I tend to have expensive taste in just about everything (what a curse!).
I realized recently that it had been a couple of years since I bought any new workout clothes. So a couple of weeks ago, I went on a bit of a shopping spree for some new duds. I bought super cute (and full priced!) items: tank tops with built-in sports bras, two running skirts (my first ones ever), and some cropped tights that I can wear essentially year-round for a variety of workouts. Although I felt a little buyer's remorse when I handed over my credit card (don't worry, I pay the balance off in-full every month!), that initial sense of guilt gave way to an entirely different feeling in the days and weeks that followed: excitement to wear my cute new threads to the gym and during my runs.
While my new clothes were pricey—by far the most expensive workout clothes I had ever purchased!—it was also kind of nice to reward myself with something special and out of the ordinary. I've been exercising hard, training for several races, trying new workouts, and it felt good to treat myself to something as a reward for my commitment and achievements. But I also see them as tools (really, really CUTE tools haha) to help me continue moving forward. After all, I want to exercise forever, and even though I've made exercise a habit, I still struggle with the ambition to continue pushing myself.
But even weeks after my purchase, every time I think about the next day's workout, I'm thinking about which new item I can wear. I've regained my excitement for the gym all over again! And the fact that they were expensive to me only reinforces my desire to use them—I want to get my money's worth. The less I wear them, the more they seem like a waste of money rather than a good investment.
I also think there is something to feeling good and confident when you work out. Most people want to feel their best in any situation, and I know a lot of women (and men) who feel uncomfortable enough getting all sweaty and stinky during exercise—especially in public. So if dressing for your workout in a fashionable workout top or a running skirt that makes you feel good motivates you, then go for it! I strongly believe in treating yourself to stylish clothes regardless of your size or weight. In fact, the more you do that NOW, the better you'll feel about yourself and the better you'll take care of yourself (that means exercising!). That was true for me when I struggled with my weight in the past. When I stopped hiding under baggy clothes, and stopped telling myself that I didn't deserve cute clothes right now, I gained confidence triggered an upward spiral of self-love and self-care that led me to becoming the fit and healthy person I am today.
So if you haven't treated yourself to something new for your workouts, consider this your reminder. You deserve it—and you'll be investing in your health!
See some of the new items I bought in my Facebook photo gallery!
When's the last time you treated yourself to new workout clothing? Did it add to your motivation?

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SPINECCO 6/28/2021
Great ideas! Thanks. Report
MJ7DM33 6/11/2021
I like this idea! Report
AZMOMXTWO 1/3/2021
thank you Report
BILLTHOMSON 12/16/2020
Great suggestions Report
CECELW 10/29/2020
I just wear shorts and a t shirt Report
KITTYHAWK1949 9/1/2020
new outfits are nice but still need my comfort Report
NASFKAB 8/20/2020
Great Report
JANIEWWJD 8/11/2020
Awesome article!!! Report
I love buying new fitness clothes, but I get them from the clearance rack. They are still new and cute for me, but a fraction of the original price!! Report
Broken links. Report
Great article! Report
Thanks for the article Report
Thank You for a great article. Report
When I started my weight-loss journey, I did buy myself a couple new sports bras almost right away because my old ones were both too small and too worn out to do any good. After that, I would buy myself new outfits, including new workout gear, as a reward for losing weight and also because my old clothes didn't fit anymore. You're absolutely right about it boosting my confidence and motivation. Report
Good advice Report
Great idea Report
You have inspired me to go out and buy myself new workout clothes. Thank you! Report
When I first started to exercise I DID change into workout clothes. Some place along the line I stopped. Time to get back to it!! Report
I bought a new exercise bra. Yes, I worked out with a happier attitude. Report
I just got some new workout clothes tonight! Found 3 pairs of pants on the clearance rack at Target and 2 new sports bras (I did splurge on those) and I can't wait to run tomorrow! Report
I didn't used to be a resale shopper, but a friend of mine convinced me to go once to see the quality and variety offered and boy was I surprised! I found my local thrift store had a ton of brand name CUTE gear (tech shirts, skorts). I recently went on their half off day and scored a new workout wardrobe for under $20. Yes there are some things you don't want to buy used, but if you save a little on some stuff, you can afford to go get those quality pieces elsewhere. I love getting to wear pieces that are fashionable and functional for whatever exercise I'm doing on a given day. Report
Even before reading your article, I made an appointment with myself to buy new yoga clothes on October 1. I'm heading off for some yoga training in mid-October and know I'll need a size smaller by then. So I'm using this as a motivator to keep tracking! Looked at your photos -- really cute! Report
Well to be honest, I purchased myself a squash racket and new duds, before I started playing squash regularly. It paid off, I am playing at least once a week and I love it!!!! Report
I always check the clearance racks (even though it may be off season)
and just yesterday bought some new running shoes with a $15 off coupon (to appease my sore tootsies, now they are happy!)
And even though they are expensive, if you are wearing them daily or several times a week, they are less per wear than most of your other clothes! Report
I bought a new SparkPeople T-shirt to wear on social occasions and for my walking. Very cool! Report
When I started my journey, I wore T's and soft pants, because that's what I had. Borrowed the BF's high tech workout shirt once and have never looked back. The difference in how the sweat was wicked away and the coolness in body temperature when working out was amazing.

I don't need cute, but I do need functional. T's and sweat pant just don't cut it for me. I have enough to make a load, rinsing them out after my workouts, and washing them according to instructions to preserve their high tech properties is worth it. Why get good stuff, just to ruin it prematurely? Report
As a shopaholic, this is a great idea! I am one of those people who almost "saves" new clothes for a special occasion, and then things don't get worn for a long time. I'm not going to go spend a ton of money on new workout clothes, but getting my current ones in rotation and being able to say I wore them out to an extreme level sounds like a serious achievement to me too!

I'm glad I read this, and I'm looking forward to wearing some new workout clothes for today's workout. Thanks!! Report
I never bought workout clothes until I started being a sparker. Somehow the fact that I had invested dollars in what I would wear helped motivate me at first, as did Coach Nicoles tip about sleeping in them to be ready right away in the morning. Now they are getting pretty worn out ( AND TOO LOOSE!) so I am eager to go shopping for more.I'm not a person who needs 'name brand' stuff so I have found that the Danskin Now line at walmart works fine for me.Plus, my budget at walmart goes alot farther so I can get a few more pieces than I would elsewear. Since i am at the gym at least 4 times a week now, i need things to change over to so I am not constantly doing laundry. I like one of the comments about looking for workout stuff in consignment or second hand stores;I'll probably start looking there as well. Report
Hmmm... I don't think new workout clothes is anything I am interested in. I am fine with baggy shirts & sweats. I only wear them at the gym during workouts. I wear my street clothes to & from. I will think about it. Report
I never pay full price for workout clothes. The companies are constantly debuting new designs, so I just keep checking clearance in store and online. That makes it easier for me to make the purchase for myself. Report
I must admit that I have worked out in old clothes that are actually just awful. So not long back I did what you did and "invested" in some really nice work-out tops and shorts. I saw myself in the mirror at the gym and I look good in them!! Talk about motivation!!! Report
New clothes wouldn't cut it for me but hey, whatever works for you! Anything that makes you feel better and more energetic has to be good. Report
I find a lot of work out clothes at yard sales and on Craigslist. People buy it and dont' use it. Report
As a 'reward,' maybe, but never as 'motivation,' because if I need new clothes for that, I'm probably not committed enough...yet. Report
@KANDKFAM1 My husband is totally into workout clothes, too. And he also has expensive taste. But he loves getting the good stuff--it motivates him to work out, too! Report
Although I find my old sweats comfortable, they are quite warm in the summertime. I bought some newer clothes that wick off the sweat--both tops and bottoms. Although more expensive, I could do some of my exercise dvds that were simply becoming unbearable in my sweats. Report
I've always fancied a pair of white pants to wear out in the summer, ever since I last owned a pair at the tender age of 12... this year, having had a rough year in many ways, with medical issues ofr myself and in the family, I have finally come through the worst of it all and so, before we went away for the summer I invested in a pair of white linen pants. They made me feel a million dollars whenever I wore them and it was well worth the expense, as now I want another pair, but in a rather smaller size of course, next summer. I have an extra incentive to succeed and feel glamorous into the bargain. Report
Love it! I love buying new workout clothes (when I can afford it...which is never lately)!! But I am going to hold off a little while until I can buy a smaller size! That's my current motivation. Keep using what I have, and working my butt off so that I can reward myself with smaller sized workout clothes!! YES PLEASE!! Report
I really enjoyed this article. I need to do something about my workout clothes too. Report
Guy commenting here :-)
While having "cute" workout apparel is not my goal, I love your recommendation of having newer workout clothing for motivation. Right now I exercise in old t-shirts, old gym shorts, and old sneakers. I would be more motivated if I could actually be using new sneaks and wearing moisture wicking clothes actually made for working out. Not to mention, if I keep it up, my old t-shirts will hopefully become too big for me and need to be replaced anyway. :-) Report
I have an entire dresser (7 drawers) bursting at the seams with nothing but workout clothes. Lately I've been buying lululemon at the secondhand store.

I agree, wearing clothes that make me feel good NOW is motivating! Thanks for reminding me! Report
At first I didn't want to keep buying new clothes. I found when I did I felt much better and this spring I bought a lot of patterned ladies T-tops in nice knits. I bought some designer jeans that are other colors besides blue. I also bought some comfortable shoes that are not sneakers. I feel so much better when I go out to run my errands. Report
Coach you hit the nail on the head.. it is true about having something to motivate you, just recent, I was given this vintage road bike, perfect shape but it needed a good tune up and some new gears so I invested the money and give it a over haul, and now you cannot get me off of it.. LOL I even splerged and brought a new pair of bike shorts.. LOL and you know this purchase and the investment on the bike has movtivated me to keep riding, so much so that I entered a 30 mile bike tour end of September called the Boston Hub..
Enjoy your new swager.. keep up the good work Report
That's so true! I love wearing my new sporty outfits! So much better than wearing those old baggy sweats. If you feel like you look good then it is such a powerful force to get you up and showing off how great you feel. It's been awhile since I've bought anything too so I think you've just motivated me to go shopping! Report